Discovery Cove recently welcomed 192 children with a wide range of illnesses or disabilities for a tropical day in paradise and to spend time learning about dolphins.
The visit was coordinated by Dreamflight, a United Kingdom based charity that organizes the annual 10-day trip to Orlando, providing fun and unforgettable memories for the children and the large team of volunteer doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and others who escort them. This is the 18th consecutive year Discovery Cove has hosted this group of guests to the park.
“Our entire team looks forward to this visit every year, working alongside the Dreamflight crew to create a truly unforgettable experience for these children,” said Kyle Miller, park president. “I commend Dreamflight for their continued efforts and everyone on our team who give it their all to create memories these children will cherish forever.”
A team of more than 40 Discovery Cove and SeaWorld Ambassadors work hand-in-hand, days in advance, to prepare the park for this very special visit. From leveling sand and installing planks on the beaches for easier wheelchair access, to the amenities that support the children during their dolphin visits, a great deal of time and effort is invested in making sure that the day is perfect for the children.
“Dreamflight could not operate without the support of great partners like Discovery Cove, and the hundreds of volunteers from the United Kingdom and the Great State of Florida, who work tirelessly to give these deserving children a trip of a lifetime,” said Sally Wrampling, Dreamflight’s director.
Dreamflight aims to give the children an opportunity to do something that medicine cannot, including discovering independence, confidence, and a new outlook on life. For most children, this is the first time they have been away from their parents, and many return home with boosted self-esteem, a sense of independence and the knowledge that they are not alone. Although the Dreamflight visit to Discovery Cove lasts only for one day, the benefits for these most deserving children are often life-long.
Dreamflight is a unique UK charity that takes children with a serious illness or disability on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ to the theme parks of Orlando, Florida. Each year 192 children from across the UK, with a wide range of illnesses or disabilities, board a privately-hired British Airways aircraft for their 10 day trip, without their parents. Dreamflight was co-founded by a former British Airways cabin crew member, Patricia Pearce MBE, in 1987. The trip was started as a one-off, with Princess Diana waving the first flight off from London’s Heathrow – this year (2019) will be the charity’s 33rd trip. Over 6,000 children have so far taken part in a life-changing holiday with Dreamflight. This year’s trip will took place 26 Oct – 5 Nov. For more information on Dreamflight visit https://www.dreamflight.org/